Torture ruling – conflict grows
News 17 10 2009: US anger over <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />UK ruling to reveal the truth on torture. The US Government is said to be “not pleased” with two British Judges whom have ruled that secret evidence held by the CIA be released in connection with the treatment of a UK Citizen, he being a former Guantanamo detainee. The ruling judges added: "It cannot be suggested that information as to how officials of the US government admitted treating Binyam Mohamed during his interrogation is information that can in any democratic society governed by the rule of law be characterised as secret or as intelligence.". To such revelations British Foreign Secretary D Miliband said that the British Government was “deeply disappointed” by the Judges ruling and would immediately announce an appeal – this being necessary to meet the demands of a US State Department which announce that a "confidential channel" should remain if intelligence sharing was to continue "to the fullest extent possible".
(1) Shadow foreign secretary William Hague said in August - "The Government's failure to answer growing questions about torture and rendition are damaging the good name of this country.".
(2) In April President Obama exempted CIA “torture” staff from prosecution while the former Head of the CIA under Bush said the move would undermine intelligence work and “dissuade foreign agencies from sharing information with the CIA”.
(3) In March Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: "I have always made clear that when serious allegations are made they have got to be investigated. I have also been clear that this government does not tolerate or endorse torture.".
Its all about “standards” so is Mr Brown to agree with the Judges ruling or finally accept that he does not represent the views and welfare as to the people of his Nation?.
15 12 2008 Review ordered of Guantanamo UK torture case. The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday granted an appeal by four former Guantanamo prisoners and ordered further review of their lawsuit against top Pentagon officials for torture and religious abuse. The four men -- Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal, Rhuhel Ahmed and Jamal al-Harith -- were captured in late 2001 in Afghanistan and were transferred to Guantanamo in early 2002. Released in March of 2004, they were returned to Britain. Their lawsuit named then-Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and 10 military commanders. There are about 250 detainees at Guantanamo - Most have been held for years without being charged and many of the prisoners have complained of abuse.
08 03 2009 Calls for probe into torture allegations. Mr Mohamed, a British resident, used an interview to claim MI5 fed his US captors specific questions which he said led him to falsely confessing to terrorist activities. Politicians and human rights groups have lined up to call for an inquiry and a police investigation into his torture claims. Shadow Justice Secretary Dominic Grieve said a judicial inquiry should be called following the allegations. He had been held in captivity since then and was imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay from September 2004 onwards.
26 03 2009 Police to probe MI5 torture claims. Scotland Yard is to investigate claims that former MI5 officers were complicit in the interrogation and torture of former Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed, it has been announced. Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: "I have always made clear that when serious allegations are made they have got to be investigated. I have also been clear that this government does not tolerate or endorse torture.". Zachary Katznelson, legal director of charity Reprieve, which represents Mr Mohamed, said he was concerned secret evidence would be excluded from the investigation.
17 04 2009 Obama exempts CIA 'torture' staff. CIA agents who used harsh interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects during the Bush era will not be prosecuted, US President Barack Obama has said. The Centre for Constitutional Rights, which has championed the legal rights of the "war on terror" detainees, expressed its disappointment. "It is one of the deepest disappointments of this administration that it appears unwilling to uphold the law where crimes have been committed by former officials," it said in a statement. The former head of the CIA under former President George W Bush, Gen Michael Hayden, said the White House move would undermine intelligence work and dissuade foreign agencies from sharing information with the CIA. Mr Obama’s administration though did not say that protection would extend to CIA agents who acted outside the boundaries laid out in the memos, or to those non-CIA staff involved in approving the interrogation limits which leaves open the possibility that those lawyers who crafted the legal opinions authorising the techniques, one of whom is now a federal judge, could yet face legal action.
18 04 2009 US 'extreme interrogation' memos emerge. Memos giving CIA agents the all-clear for the "extreme interrogation" of terror suspects have been released by the White House. The documents represent the George W Bush administration's legal justification for methods that far exceed US military limits and have been called "torture" by critics. The first memo, from 2002, approves waterboarding - which makes the suspect feel like they are drowning - and other harsh techniques on suspected high-level al-Qaeda figure Abu Zubaydah. It was written by former Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee for the CIA's top lawyer, John Rizzo. The CIA has confirmed that two other high-level al-Qaeda suspects were waterboarded. The memo says: "We find that the use of the waterboard constitutes a threat of imminent death" - one of the criteria for torture. The Obama administration also said it would try to shield CIA employees from "any international or foreign tribunal".
16 06 2009 CIA Fresh torture claims. Accused al-Qaeda mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has said he was tortured into lying while in CIA custody, newly-released documents show. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said that the newly released government transcripts "provide further evidence of brutal torture" by the CIA. Detainee Abu Zubaydah said that "after months of suffering and torture, physically and mentally, they did not care about my injuries". "Doctors told me that I nearly died four times," he said. The ACLU - which is seeking uncensored transcripts of the US government's terror detainee programmes - said the latest documents were "still heavily blacked out" by the CIA.
25 06 2009 Fresh claims in 'MI5 torture' probe. A British man suing the Home Office over claims MI5 colluded in his alleged torture has said security officers accused him of masterminding the July 7 London bombings, it is reported. Jamil Rahman said he was arrested in Bangladesh in December 2005 by the country's DGFI intelligence agency, under the direction of MI5 officers, and questioned several times over two years. He said: "They stripped me naked and said that if I didn't say what they wanted me to say, they would rape me and my wife and burn her and other family members. "Even the Bengali intelligence officer told me that they didn't know anything about me, that they were only doing this for the British.". It was revealed last month that lawyers for Mr Rahman wrote to Jacqui Smith claiming she colluded in assault, unlawful arrest, false imprisonment and breaches of human rights legislation. His claims follow accusations by former Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed, who said he was tortured in Pakistan and Morocco with the knowledge of MI5.
07 07 2009 Secret service in torture bribe row. Britain's security services are facing allegations that they attempted to pervert the course of justice by bribing a terror group member to drop his claims that they colluded in his torture. Tayab Ali, of London law firm Irvine Thanvi Natas, said: "Mr Ahmed says a police officer and a man who described himself as a security services officer came into his cell in Manchester prison and told him he could have a reduction in his sentence or a cash payment in return for dropping the torture allegations.
18 07 2009 Torture probe-Johnson defends MI5. Home Secretary Alan Johnson has come to the defence of MI5 following the launch of a police investigation into allegations that some of its agents were complicit in torture. Mr Johnson took on the responsibility for MI5 when he was appointed Home Secretary in June.
28 07 2009 UK urged to reveal 'torture' file. A legal charity has begun a legal fight to force the UK government to reveal what it knew about an alleged CIA "rendition flight" in 2002. Last year, Foreign Secretary David Miliband admitted Diego Garcia had been used for rendition flights, but the UK government has so far refused to reveal what else it knew about the flights. Clive Stafford Smith: "The issue is about what the British government knew". "I would defy the British government to deny that we are right," he said. Continuing - "The issue for Britain is that Diego Garcia is a British territory, we're responsible for it and what happens on it... the Americans are meant to tell us what they are doing and we, as supervisor of Diego Garcia, have a responsibility to make sure that crimes do not happen on it."- He added: "I think particularly under the Blair administration there was an awful lot of playing the ostrich where the government knew what was going on but just buried its head in the sand. A Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) statement said: "The movement of detainees through UK territory without our permission, whilst concerning, does not mean that the UK has been complicit in torture. We condemn unreservedly any use of torture.
04 08 2009 Ministers call for torture inquiry. Parliament's Joint Human Rights Committee has called for an independent inquiry into allegations that the British Government was complicit in acts of torturing terror suspects. Shadow foreign secretary William Hague said: "The Government's failure to answer growing questions about torture and rendition are damaging the good name of this country." He added: "It is particularly disappointing that both the Foreign Secretary and Home Secretary refused to give oral evidence to the committee.
09 08 2009 Ministers deny torture collusion. Two cabinet ministers have strongly denied allegations of collusion in the abuse of terrorist suspects overseas. Last week a committee of MPs and peers called for an independent inquiry into claims of UK complicity in torture. Now the Foreign Affairs Select Committee has also said it has grave concerns that British officers were complicit in torture.